The foundation of our AdPM™, Achievement-driven Project Methodology, is a 5-step process that is “just enough” project management for 80% of the projects done in most organizations. Beyond the basic project methodology, we add advanced techniques for large strategic or cross-functional projects, or projects done for a fee for your customers. The focus is on accountability for measured business results with a lean planning and scheduling process.
The project methodology is documented in all our textbooks and courses which are approved by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). All our students use our AdPM™ digital templates for their assignments and easily transition to using them on their work projects.
5 Steps in our AdPM™ Project Methodology
#1-Plan the Project with Top-Down Techniques
We start the project methodology by driving projects to measured business outcomes, not pointless activities. We plan top-down from the business result the executive wants and the major deliverables that will take us there.
As the scale of the project expands, so does the methodology. AdPM adds additional techniques for change requests, high risk projects and complex multiple stakeholder projects for larger customer/client projects.
#2-Decompose Project Goal into a Deliverable Network
After the executive approves the measured business result of the project, the project manager decomposes that business outcome into a network of major deliverables. That identifies the major stepping stones from where we are now to the end result. The next step is to decompose each of those major deliverables into the necessary supporting sub-deliverables. The result of this effort is a work breakdown structure that is a network of all the achievements required in the project.
#3-Create One-Page Broadbrush Plan for Executive Review
The broadbrush project plan is usually less than two pages long. In addition to the deliverable network developed above, it contains cost and duration estimates, resource requirements and cost for each of the high-level deliverables and the project as a whole. We also assess the risks we face on each of those high-level deliverables. Next, we identify the key assumptions for the project and then design an authority and accountability structure based on the achievement network. All these elements come together in a one or two page broadbrush plan for the sponsor’s review and approval. As the scale of the project expands, each of the preceding elements can expand, including more sophisticated risk analysis and mitigation, team development, procurement planning and quality control/assurance.
#4-Optimize the Schedule with Accurate Estimates; 10 Minutes/Week to Update
The AdPM methodology is compatible with a wide variety of project management software programs but most of our clients and students use Microsoft Project®. All our textbooks and courses include detailed instructions for using this software. This methodology includes techniques for building dynamic project schedules that make it easy for project managers to analyze alternative ways of doing the project and assess options for recovering if/when the project encounters problems. It also includes techniques for optimizing the project schedule and resources. These techniques get more sophisticated as the scale of the project expands. Optimization always includes the analysis of trade-offs between project scope, duration and budget, so the project manager can tailor the project plan to meet the executives’ or clients’ needs.
#5-Spot & Report Problems Early
All the preceding steps, from the development of measured achievements to a lean work breakdown structure and a dynamic software model, allow project managers who use our AdPM methodology to spot problems early when they’re small and most easily resolved. The measured achievements provide unambiguous checkpoints that allow PMs to compare where they are to where they should be at any point in time. During tracking, we apply the trade-off techniques to assess options for recovering from variances.
Our AdPM methodology is scalable with three tiers of intensity for projects of differing size and significance. This allows you to add “just enough” project techniques for each project. Our programs to help organizations implement the methodology normally include the following elements:
Design session with senior management to tailor the program to your organization, strategy and people. In these sessions, we assist your senior management in the design of your organization’s project protocol.
Training sessions with project sponsors and project managers where we teach the selected techniques and your protocol. We use “hands-on” case studies that are compilations of your actual projects.
Project Management Office training for your staff in the operation of a PMO that will provide the control and reporting specified in your protocol.
On-going support for one year as your project managers apply the AdPM methodology, tools and techniques.